General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 23 Nov 2017/8 Flint
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Mexica (Aztec) children earning their daily break at 6 years old, Codex Mendoza

Off to work at 6...

Mexica (Aztec) children were expected literally to earn their daily bread at the tender age of six years old, as this scene from the Codex Mendoza explains...

Folio 58 of the Codex shows parents of six-year-olds teaching their children tasks that would make a contribution, however small, to the family’s livelihood: in the case of boys, this meant gathering maize and beans spilled by traders in the marketplace; in the case of girls, it meant spinning cloth. In both cases the activities were designed ‘so that they did not spend their time in idleness, and to avoid the bad vices that idleness tends to bring.’ The ration that was given to the children at each meal - drawn clearly in the codex - was one and a half tortillas.

The row of six round turquoise discs represents years of age, and the red wheel-like disc is the glyph for marketplace.

Image
scanned from our own copy of the 1938 James Cooper Clark facsimile edition (London) of the Codex Mendoza.

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